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Guinea massacre ‘premeditated and organized’ by military: report

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Schalk van Zuydam/File/AP

(Read caption) In this file photo taken on Oct. 2 Guinea's military leader, Capt. Moussa "Dadis" Camara, left, salutes next to presidential guard chief Abubakar "Toumba" Diakite, right, during independence day celebrations in Conakry, Guinea. Diakite said Wednesday that he shot at point-blank range on Dec. 3 because the junta leader wanted him to take the blame for a massacre by troops of pro-democracy demonstrators in September. Camara is recovering in a Moroccan hospital.

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Who is responsible for the massacre by uniformed soldiers, police, and militiamen that killed at least 150 pro-democracy demonstrators in Guinea?

A report by Human Rights Watch, released today, presents evidence that Guinea's ruling military party organized and carried out the Sept. 28, 2009 massacre – and of speedily organizing a cover-up. The murders, rapes, and abuses by security forces that day "rise to the level of crimes against humanity," it says.

The massacre's alleged leaders continue to deny responsibility. There have been near-blanket international calls for Guinea to account for the atrocities, as well as diplomatic pressure for Guinea's military junta to step aside and, as promised, allow national elections.

Military junta leader Moussa Dadis Camara has said that the stadium massacre was carried out by rogue militants. He is in a Moroccan hospital after surviving an assassination attempt Dec. 3 by an aide, Lt. Abubakar "Toumba" Diakite. Now in hiding, Diakite told French radio Wednesday that he shot Camara because the captain would try to pin responsibility for the massacre on him.

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